7 July 2011

Reupload - Golden Section - Young Mavericks

Golden Section - Young Mavericks

Label: Diversion
Year of issue: 1991

Given the proliferation of blogs focusing on lost indie gems from the early nineties, it’s slightly surprising that “Young Mavericks” doesn’t seem to have been given any attention anywhere yet. This received rave reviews in the weekly music press, to the extent that the NME saw fit to give them an interview and also listed the single in the end-of-year “On list” – meaning that they thought it was one of the best recordings by a new band in 1991.

The Roman Jugg produced “Young Mavericks” is indeed the kind of ditty which would have got music journalists very hot under the collar at the time. A storming, sneering song which namechecks Rimbaud and Baudelaire, it has "Statement of Intent" stamped all over it. Such pretentious arrogance on debut singles always got the press to prick up their ears in those days (and it still does at the NME) but that’s not all it has to offer – there’s an infectious energy on display too, and an urgent chorus (which admittedly takes rather too long to kick in). The drums pound, rattle and roll, the guitars feedback joyously, and the keyboard sounds as if it’s engaged in a battle with an irritated and writhing octopus. In short, it’s huge fun, and if the band had actually made it there’s no doubt it would have been the monstrous, firework display launching finale piece to their festival shows.

For all that, the sound here is most definitely in an early nineties Evening Session vein, and whilst there’s a certain sixties garage undertone to the whole thing, there’s little question there are elements of Jesus Jones and The Wonder Stuff in the mix as well. Depending upon your point of view, you will either find that charming or utterly irritating.

True to the final line on the A-side here, Golden Section did indeed “burn out”. Following this acclaimed single, they split up within a matter of months and with no public explanation. Some members splintered off to form The Earthtrippers (a band I know absolutely nothing about) whilst lead singer Paul Tunkin created retro mod band The Weekenders, who enjoyed a slightly higher profile. These days, he’s better known as the DJ at the legendary Blow Up club in London, and puts together the tracklistings for their compilation albums featuring obscure sixties library and lounge music. A man after Left and to the Back’s own heart, then.

Golden Section were also from Southend, a town I lived in for a number of years. I was possibly too young when they were at their peak to make accurate judgments, but the energy on this single does seem to sum up their live act. They were known for being one of the more full throttle bands in the region, and regularly played to packed and sweaty venues, also earning prestigious support slots in London with the likes of The Verve.

Of the B-sides, the icy “Close Quarters” is the most appealing, with “Can’t See The Light” being a wee bit too indie-pop-by-numbers for my liking.

(Update: This entry was originally posted in April 2008. This song still seems strangely overlooked out in blogland. Its scarcity is probably an issue - the band pressed it up on their own label in limited quantities - but given some of the stodge I've heard on those endless blogs with names like Twisting Me Melons, Baggy Bonanza and I'm Madchester, Me, I find it odd to say the least that this couldn't be given a bit of space. Of all the critically acclaimed indie singles of the early nineties, this really seems to be the one that's fallen most under the radar).

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